TSC forensic photography course takes Brooks County Sherriff’s Department to the next level

Brooks County Sherriff’s Office Commander Jorge Esparza is pulling double duty on the field and in the classroom as a student in the Forensic Macro Photography program at Texas Southmost College.

Forensic Macro Photography is part of the college’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education department and is open to all law enforcement officials looking to obtain this specific training in advanced identification.

The Forensic Macro Photography practice was first adopted and used by the U.S. Border Patrol, and now city and county law enforcement agencies like the Brooks County Sheriff’s Department are beginning to train in and use the identification process.

“Our department has a close relationship with the U.S. Border Patrol, and we rely on them to help us identify bodily remains, so I’ve been witness to how forensic macro photography positively impacts an investigation or case,” said Esparza. “To have this training close by at TSC and to bring these skills to our office is a game changer.”

According to Esparza, the increase in immigration has increased the number of deceased immigrants they find in the county. He said while some can be easily identified and reunited with family members, many are not.

“The goal is always to identify and unify, which on average can take six months to one year,” he said. “But using macro photography will decrease our lead times down to seven to 10 days.’

He added, “Thanks to TSC, this will save our department time and money.”

TSC’s Forensic Macro Photography course is two weeks, and explores the history and elements of fingerprint identification.

At the end of the course, students like Esparza, will be trained in basic, advanced and macro photography, fingerprint classification, lifting latent impressions outdoor and indoor, the document process and postmortem techniques.

All training is hands-on, which has been the best part for Esparza.

“Our department ordered a forensic macro photography kit a few months back and now we’re going to put it to great use,” said Esparza. “Looking at others practice this skill is one thing, but actually doing it is another. This is taking our department and processes to the next level.”

For more information about TSC’s Forensic Macro Photography course, visit tsc.edu/wtce or call 956-295-3723.